Their ongoing battle for the starting quarterback job for the defending national champion Tigers continues quietly amid the drudgery of daily “voluntary” workouts and summer school classes.
“It’s going,” Moseley said when asked about summer progress. “It’s hot. It’s tough, but I can definitely tell a difference between this summer and last summer. I’m trying to get something out of it now. The running still kills me, but it’s good overall. It’s just part of the process.”
The Tigers work out Monday through Friday, mostly conditioning and weight lifting under the watchful eye of strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall, a fiendishly tough individual who the players say could have made a good living as a torturer during the Spanish Inquisition.
“He gets the most out of you, that’s for sure,” Trotter said. “This team will be in shape, no doubt about it.”
In addition, the quarterbacks and wide receivers get together each evening to throw on their own.
The search to replace Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton at quarterback won’t really heat up until the Tigers report for fall camp in August, but both quarterbacks know that the preparation they’re making now is critical to the process.
“When you condition as hard as we do, and then get in as many throws as we do, you can’t help but get better,” Moseley said. “The timing with the receivers, the accuracy with your throws. Every bit of work you can get in helps.
“At times, I just wish it was over. I just want to know one way or the other. But I have to be patient. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I have to do and that’s what I’m working on, getting ready for fall camp.”
The task of replacing their predecessor is formidable. Newton, the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, rushed for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns and threw for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Neither Moseley or Trotter possess the skills to put up those kind of numbers, but no one is expecting them to.
Both fit the mold of pocket passers. Both have very little experience.
Moseley, a 6-2, 223-pound redshirt sophomore, appeared in one game last season.
He rushed twice for eight yards against Louisiana-Monroe. He didn’t attempt a pass.
Trotter, a 6-2, 211-pound junior, was Newton’s backup last season, playing in six games, completing six of nine passes for 64 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Despite their lack of experience, both quarterbacks have been in offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s system long enough to know it well.
“I really don’t remember another offense,” Moseley said. “That’s how long I feel like I’ve been in this offense.”
The two competed through spring drills on dead even terms, necessitating that the battle for the starting job continue into the fall.
Making the situation even more difficult is the fact that the two consider each other best friends.
“It has been my goal, my dream to play quarterback here, and here I am battling against my best friend,” Moseley said. “I think we’re doing about as good a job as we can to continue to be friends and still battle each other.”
Another name joined the mix when highly-touted freshman Kiehl Frazier arrived on campus.
Despite impeccable credentials, Frazier is considered a longshot to compete for the starting job just because of the learning curve he faces.
Meanwhile, former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson, who has one year of eligibility remaining, has visited both Auburn and Wisconsin and is expected to make decision soon whether he will return to college or continue in his career as a baseball player in the Colorado Rockies’ organization.
Moseley and Trotter maintain they are not following the news concerning Wilson. They’re sequestered in their own little world in Auburn.
“I haven’t read the message boards since the ninth grade,” Trotter said. “I don’t even watch (ESPN) Sports Center anymore.”
Charles Bennett covers Auburn University sports for The Star.